(FinancialHealth)- If you think you live in a tough neighborhood, you clearly haven’t lived on the internet. Cybercrime has made our digital environment more hostile than ever before. No matter how sophisticated security solutions get, they always find a way around them. Hence, your #1 concern as a user should always be internet scams. It’s the top threat to your well-being, either on or off the internet. The amount of damage that scammers can do with your personal information is immense. Having internet security is one thing, but it’s not going to do you a lot of good if you don’t have a basic black belt in digital self-defense. We’re going to show you some simple ways you can use to protect yourself from the most common internet scams.
Most Common Tips
You don’t need to be a computer wiz to know how to avoid cyber criminals. Here are a couple of techniques that you can use to protect yourself and your loved ones from common scams:
- Delete Messages Offering You Rewards: If you didn’t sign up for any competition and you receive an email telling you that you won something, that should raise a million red flags. Quickly delete that email. Don’t even open it.
- Reject Urgent Appeal Requests: Whenever there is a disaster or an ongoing crisis, scammers like to take advantage of concerns to citizens to collect “donations”. Take the time to verify if the email that you received comes from a credible organization. Delete it if it doesn’t seem legit.
- Don’t Be Generous with Personal Info Requests: You may receive emails making special offers for you to give your information in exchange for a reward or a service. Don’t open the email and be diligent in verifying its source. Lots of scammers can make things look legit when it’s all set up to be a trap to honest, hardworking citizens such as yourself!
Fake Lottery Messages
We all want millions of dollars, but what we don’t want to have is our privacy violated. Lottery scams, unfortunately, are a catchy theme to send emails out for scammers to gain access to people’s personal information. If you think you’re safe from them, you’re not. Therefore, it’s best that you take the following protective measures to keep yourself safe:
- Check the email address of the sender. If it’s under an individual’s name, such as [email protected], then it’s a scam. However, an email address from an organization may have more credibility.
- Take a look at the “To” section of the email. If your email address isn’t mentioned, then it is most definitely a common phishing scam. This means that a massive number of email users received the same message.
Hackers on Social Media
Facebook is a great place for cyber predators to come up with all types of internet scams. Sometimes hackers can use the profile of one of your friends to send you a message. When you receive the message, what they’ll want you to do is click on the links, so that they can get access to the account. But this isn’t the only scheme that you’ll find on social media. Sometimes the hacker could pose as someone who needs financial assistance and is stuck abroad. The best thing to do is find another way to contact your friend without using social media to verify that it’s actually your friend making the request. Don’t put yourself in a position where hackers can win over your money.
Scams Using Scandalous Threats
If there’s anything that we as human beings find most threatening, it’s our public image. But with cybercriminals having no moral boundaries whatsoever, they would be more than happy to send you a message like “Here’s a picture of you in the shower!” If you open the message and click on the link, you’ll be the victim of yet another internet scam. The hacker will have access to all types of personal information once he/she gains access. Remember to never open messages that you think may be suspicious.
Don’t Fall for Cuteness!
We know that we’ve all seen one of them in our lives. It’s a picture of a baby and what’s written underneath is “Please help Little Johnny recover from cancer. Click to donate $10” This is also a common internet scam on Facebook. Once you click on the link, the scammer will steal your money and the word will spread that you donated to this campaign. That means that all your other Facebook contacts could potentially contribute to this well-orchestrated scheme. Donate to causes that you know about and that are legitimate. Make sure that you verify everything for yourself.
Careful on Twitter
If you’re an active Twitter user, TinyURL.com would be the best website that you can use to shorten URLs and get around character limits. What’s even more important is that you need to have caution when clicking on links. Some of your followers on Twitter could be a gold mine of links that’ll allow malware and spyware on your computer. You’ll find that these followers have weird-looking profiles. They’ll also be following many different accounts, but when you dig deeper you’ll find that they only have a few followers.
Scammers Want More Than Your Opinion
Surveys are great for collecting information! Yet, when it’s sent by a scammer, it’s used to collect the wrong type of information. On the internet, you’ll find all types of fake surveys in your Inbox. It’s a common email scam! Before you know it, a couple of clicks can get you in big trouble. Therefore, do the right thing by not opening the email until you have verified that it comes from a credible organization.
Don’t Stress Too Much Over PayPal
If you’re an active internet user, then one thing you definitely might come across is a PayPal scam. One day, you might receive an email saying that there’s something wrong with your PayPal account. The email will contain a link to a website that will look like the PayPal website, but it’s a fake. Before you know it, a cybercriminal will have both your username and password because you tried to log in. To avoid this, always ensure that the emails you receive from PayPal always come from “@paypal.com” addresses.
~Here’s to your Financial Health!
Copyright 2021, FinancialHealth.net